Cuttack: The Orissa High Court backed the state government’s stand on the dispute over the Pharmacy Council of India (PCI)’s call to put a moratorium on opening new colleges in Odisha.
“Since healthcare of the public is the paramount consideration of the government and as there is lack of trained professionals, this Court directs the Pharmacy Council of India and Central government to consider the matter relating to lifting of moratorium on the opening of new pharmacy colleges for running diploma as well as degree courses in pharmacy for a period of five years beginning from the academic year of 2020-21 as far as the State of Odisha is concerned,” the bench of Justice Sanju Panda and Justice SK Panigrahi said on February 26 while taking note of the State government’s contention.
PCI issued orders on July 17, 2019, and September 9, 2019, and put a moratorium on the opening of new pharmacy colleges offering diploma and degree courses in pharmacy for a period of five years starting from the academic year 2020-21, according to a report in The New Indian Express.
The dispute had started after the state government requested the PCI president to accord necessary approval/permission to the colleges for conducting DPharma/BPharma courses in the state.
The state government further requested the PCI in its letter on September 2, 2020, to also treat Odisha as the exception clause of the states to which the moratorium is not applicable as in the case of north-eastern states, the report said.
The council however didn’t consider the state government’s request though a meeting of PCI was held in December 2020. The matter reached the High Court after the CV Raman Global University and Driems School and College of Pharmacy challenged the PCI’s decision.